Donald C. Mehrer, a longtime donor to Alley Cat Allies, helps community cats like this one.

People who know Donald C. Mehrer joke that he’s lived nearly nine lives. He’s a Vietnam War veteran, a former biker, a husband to his wife, Margaret, an artist, an antique salesman, a builder of antique cars, and so much more.

Donald, 73, is especially proud of his life as an ally to cats. He cares for community cats in his town of Babylon, New York, and has donated to Alley Cat Allies since 1999.

“Cats deserve it, they’re worth it,” Donald says. “They do so much good for us, mentally. And they need us to defend them. That’s what I do and what [Alley Cat Allies does].”

Donald first learned about Alley Cat Allies from his mother, a compassionate donor who “gave to everyone.” Now, Donald not only gives whatever he can, he also plans to leave his estate to help cats into the future.

“I always say I’ve been building an empire throughout my life,” says Donald. “And I’ve decided that the cats are going to inherit that empire.”

When he isn’t helping cats, Donald most enjoys painting, fixing cars, and spending time with his two cats at home, Me-My and Hello.